Multiple Wave Patterns

Blonde woman with long thick hair
Photo: Kinga/Shutterstock
Q: I have long (2 inches past my shoulder) hair, very thick, with combined textures of medium and coarse hair. My problem is the hair in the front is pretty straight, with a very slight wave and the hair in the back is very wavy to almost full-blown curly in some spots.
I use smoothing, straightening serums, etc. in the back and curl enhances, etc. in the front, neither of which do much. I've tried every product out there to either straighten the back or curl the front and it just doesn't happen. I never blowdry my hair because it looks slightly frizzed and dry in the back, and it takes forever because of the thickness.
There's just no straightening the back without blow dryers and straightening irons, which I don't want to hassle with. The L'Oreal Vive Smooth Intense formula settles the back down to a tolerable wave. I want to be able to let it dry naturally and not have to "fix" my hair (except for special occasions). I keep it long to weight down the curl in the back and have very subtle long layers in the front. I'm 35 and I've had this hairstyle for 20 years and want a change.
Rather than fighting this straight/curly combo head of mine, I'd like to find a cut that would allow my combo hair to coexist, without such a noticeable difference in the straight front and curly back. What type of haircut would you recommend that would ease the transition from my straight front to heavily wavy back?
Would longish, wispy bangs and shorter, more numerous layers in the front accomplish this? My face shape is round. Are bangs even "in" these days? Any hairstyle suggestions to lessen the paradox on my head would be greatly appreciated!

A: It's more than a little difficult to make hairstyle suggestions for someone without first being able to see them and make an assessment of their hair, face shape and features. It becomes doubly difficult when you add in the fact that the hair in question has multiple wave patterns at different points on the head.
My first thought for someone in your situation is to suggest that you consider a permanent wave to "even out" the amount of wave in your hair. You could select a curl size that would soften the wave in the back and would add curl to the straight hair in front, match the front of the hair to the back in curl size, or basically select any size curl you desire. Combining a perm with the proper cut would allow you to simply apply some product to the hair in the mornings and be on your way.
If a perm is completely out of the question for you, you might consider an angled blunt cut building to longer lengths in front of the head, with long bangs that are textured to blend to the sides. The curl in back will result in extra volume and fullness, and so the hair may need to be thinned using texturing shears to avoid the excess bulk.
Your best bet, however, is to visit your stylist. Sit down with him or her and discuss the needs of your hair and what you'd like to see from a new hairstyle. Being able to have a hands-on examination of the hair would allow for better assessment of what the hair will do in response to a certain haircut and style.
See also:
Face shapes and hairstyles
Are permanent curls right for you?
Can curly haired people have bangs?
What your hairstylist really sees